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Famous Like Me > Actor > I > Vanilla Ice

Profile of Vanilla Ice on Famous Like Me

Name: Vanilla Ice  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 31st October 1968
Place of Birth: Miami, Florida, USA
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Robert Van Winkle (born October 31, 1968 in Miami Lakes, Florida), better known as Vanilla Ice, is an American rapper, known today for the single "Ice Ice Baby" that topped the charts beginning in late 1990 (see 1990 in music). He was arguably the most commercially successful rapper of his time, moving over 11 million copies of his debut album,To the Extreme. But media over-exposure, poor career choices, and negative publicity from revelations about his past led to his eventual dismissal by the public at large. His career was not helped by a common perception that he embodied the white mainstream's commercial appropriation and watering down of traditionally African-American music (a phenomenon most famously witnessed in R&B/rock n' roll), and the backlash from the hip hop community turned him into a virtual pariah.

Ice's success was marred fairly quickly after it was revealed that claims he had attended an all-black high school and led a crime-riddled life were, in fact, disingenuous, and had been manufactured to lend his image street credibility; he actually attended R. L. Turner High School in Carrollton, Texas. His flamboyant stage outfits and over-stylized grooming also eventually led to great ridicule. He faced legal problems stemming from his music, as "Ice Ice Baby" had sampled the Queen and David Bowie collaboration "Under Pressure" without permission. He was also sued by Wild Cherry frontman, Rob Parissi for not crediting him as the writer of Ice's cover of the disco classic, "Play that Funky Music."

His second major album was a live version of To the Extreme entitled Extremely Live, the first live rap album in history. Though Extremely Live was certified gold, Ice's star had faded significantly by the time it was released in 1991, and sales of the album never approached those of its predecessor.

His ill-advised film debut came in the 1991 movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, performing "The Ninja Rap." He also appeared in the 1991 star vehicle Cool as Ice. The soundtrack to Cool as Ice featured several new Vanilla Ice tracks, including a duet with Naomi Campbell. But the film was both a commercial and critical failure. For his performance, Van Winkle won the "Worst New Star" award at the 1991 Golden Raspberry Awards. For the next several years, Ice kept a low public profile and became a motocross racer using his real name.

Ice returned to music in 1994 (see 1994 in music) with Mind Blowin'. Ice was now reimaged as a dreadlocked, marijuana-obsessed gangsta, insisting that his former sound and image had been pressed on him by his record company. Shifting public tastes in music and fashion, the perception that Ice had shifted his image to suit current trends, as well as the fallout from negative press in the interim between albums, led to the commercial failure of the album. On July 4, 1994 Ice attempted to commit suicide; failing, he made another attempt later that same year, citing drug abuse and anxiety surrounding his flagging career.

During this period, Van Winkle claimed in a television interview that he had been threatened and assaulted by Marion "Suge" Knight, founder and CEO of Death Row Records, for royalties demanded by a former associate who claimed that he had, in fact, written "Ice Ice Baby." According to Ice, Knight dangled him by his ankles over a hotel balcony until he agreed to sign over the royalties from the track. Knight denied the allegations. Ice later altered his story, now insisting that the incident was nothing more than a non-violent formal business dispute, a story backed up by former manager Tommy Quon. Ice's initial account of the incident was parodied in the 2005 movie Be Cool, in which Vince Vaughn's character--a street-talking, White record producer named Roger--was partially based on Ice.

It wasn't until 1996 that Ice made his next appearance (credited as "Rob Van Winkle"), on the track "Boom" by suburban Philadelphia rappers The Bloodhound Gang. The track's deep bass groove and Ice's uncharacteristic tough guy flow on the first verse led to a quasi-ironic underground revival in popularity, and the first new Vanilla Ice CD in four years.

Hard to Swallow (see 1998 in music) found Ice in a musically similar idiom to the track from the Bloodhound Gang, using a contemporarily popular nu metal sound his press kit referred to as "skate rock" that could be described as musically similar to early Limp Bizkit or KoЯn. Van Winkle once again revised his image, and was now a tow-headed, pierced, and tattooed headbanger. The disc also included a revamped version of "Ice Ice Baby," reimagined as a stomping heavy metal anthem.

His latest album was 2001's Bipolar, a two CD set, of which the first disc covers his recent nu metal material and the second a more contemporary hip-hop sound. It did little to rekindle public interest. It also marked his reunion with ex-manager Tommy Quon, who was credited as executive producer on the album. On the album Vanilla Ice collaborated with many artists such as Wu-Tang Clan affiliate La The Darkman, Chuck D from Public Enemy, and Insane Clown Posse (which earned him the following of Insane Clown Posse's famously dedicated fan base known as Juggalos). Vanilla Ice & the Insane Clown Posse have supposedly remained great friends. Ice briefly appeared in the JCW, the Insane Clown Posse's wrestling federation, to replace Shaggy 2 Dope when he was injured.

Ice has also appeared on an MTV special called "MTV's 25 lamest" in which MTV retired some of it's lamest videos. Vanilla was invited to appear and destroy the tape of "Ice Ice Baby" live on air, Ice accepted, however after being mocked by the hosts Vanilla took the bat that he was given to destroy the tape and started breaking down the set, the show quickly transitioned to a comercial.

In 2004, Vanilla Ice starred in the second season of The Surreal Life on The WB. This brought some interest in him from the public, and a website was launched. In the same year he appeared on British television in the first season of Reality TV show The Farm on five. He was also cast in the film The Helix...Loaded, a parody of The Matrix.

Vanilla Ice made a brief return to the newsreel when his pet wallaroo, Bucky, and pet goat, Pancho, escaped from his Port St. Lucie, Florida home. After wandering around local streets for over a week, the animals were caught, and returned to their rightful owner. Ice had to pay a $220 fine for expired pet tags, and an undisclosed fine for the escape of the animals.

Recently, in June 2005, Ice won the second round of NBC's hit TV show Hit Me Baby One More Time, performing "Ice Ice Baby" and covering Destiny's Child's hit "Survivor". He also appeared on a VH1 special entitled "Remaking Vanilla Ice", which featured the revamp Vanilla Ice underwent in preparation for his new album "Platinum Underground," set for an August 2005 release. Ice also appeared on the series Damage Control, on MTV2. He currently lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Controversy broke out on the heavily populated G4 Forums on September 19, 2005 when, in the heat of the co-hosting auditions, Attack of the Show! claimed on their website that they had discovered a new, permanent cohost who wasn't going to be required to audition. They claimed that "You’ve seen him in music videos, in his own film, and on reality TV. He’s ice cold, goes to the extreme, and really knows how to play that funky music. And we’ve got him signed exclusively to AOTS." Ice Cold and Play That Funky Music were both tracks on Vanilla Ice's 1990 album To The Extreme. Adding to the prank, Ice personally appeared on the show on September 20, 2005 as the "new permanent co-host." After co-hosting a brief segment, Ice publicized his new album, and left. Kevin put an end to the prank with the announcement, "unfortunately, Vanilla Ice is not our new co-host."


  • Hooked (1989)
  • To The Extreme (1990)
  • Extremely Live (live album) (1991)
  • Mind Blowin (1994)
  • One Fierce Beer Coaster (The Bloodhound Gang) (1996)
  • Hard To Swallow (1998)
  • Are You Man Enough? (Betty Blowtorch) (2001)
  • Bipolar (2001) (under V-Ice)
  • Forgotten Freshness, Vol. 3 (Insane Clown Posse) (2001)
  • Platinum Underground (August 16th 2005)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Vanilla Ice